After the shocker at the Desert Classic – where unknown Adam Long took down one of the game’s biggest stars, the PGA Tour travels 150 miles southwest, from the Palm Springs desert to the San Diego coast, for this week’s Farmers Insurance Open at the venerable Torrey Pines Golf Course.
The long-running tournament, the second of the five-event “West Coast Swing,” provides yet another opportunity for the players to rack up some early-season FedExCup (and Ryder Cup) points.
The field in La Jolla, California is headlined by Tiger Woods, who will make his 2019 debut at the place of one of his most iconic moments.
In addition to the 80-time PGA Tour winner, the 156-player field also includes superstars such as world No. 1 Justin Rose, defending champion Jason Day, Rickie Fowler – who makes his 2019 debut using a new ball, and Jordan Spieth – the three-time major winner looking to break his lengthy slump.
Tournament: Farmers Insurance Open
Dates: Jan. 24-27, 2019
TV Network: GOLF, CBS
Course: Torrey Pines GC (South)
Where: La Jolla, CA
Distance: 7698 yards, Par 72
Architect: William Bell
Field: 156 players
Format: 72-hole stroke; 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $1,278,000
FedEx Cup Points: 500
Defending Champion: Jason Day
TV & ONLINE COVERAGE
All times EST.
Round 1: 3-7:00 PM GOLF
Round 2: 3-7:00 PM GOLF
Round 3: 3-6:00 PM CBS
Round 4: 3-6:30 PM CBS
The Farmers Insurance Open, originally called the San Diego Open, has been a part of the PGA Tour since 1952, with this year’s edition being the 67th all time.
Ted Kroll was the inaugural winner, taking the first San Diego Open by three strokes over the better-known Jimmy Dameret. The tournament has taken place in the San Diego area since its inception, with Torrey Pines hosting every event since 1968.
Notable winners of the tournament include Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Tiger Woods, and John Daly.
Woods has won an unbelievable seven times, easily the most of anyone in tournament history, with native son Phil Mickelson next with three titles. Woods also captured his last of 14 majors at Torrey Pines, winning the 2008 U.S. Open against Rocco Mediate in a playoff.
The tournament was hosted for more than 20 years by Andy Williams, with the singer’s name appearing as part of the title from 1968-88. It is also believed to be the favorite tournament of Nelson Muntz of Simpsons fame.
HISTORY: TOURNAMENT NAMES
2010-19 Farmers Insurance Open
1992-09 Buick Invitational
1989-91 Shearson Lehman Open
1986-88 Shearson Lehman-Andy Williams Open
1983-85 Isuzu-Andy Williams Open
1981-82 Wickes-Andy Williams San Diego Open
1968-80 Andy Williams San Diego Open Invitational
1957-67 San Diego Open Invitational
1955-56 Convair-San Diego Open
1952-55 San Diego Open
HISTORY: RECENT CHAMPIONS
2018: Jason Day
2017: Jon Rahm
2016: Brandt Snedeker
2015: Jason Day
2014: Scott Stallings
2013: Tiger Woods
2012: Brandt Snedeker
2011: Bubba Watson
Wins: 7 – Tiger Woods (1999, 2003, 2005-09, 2013)
18-Hole Score: 62 – Woods (1999) (South)
72-Hole Score: 266 (-22) – George Burns (1987), Woods (1999)
Jason Day emerged from a three-man playoff, edging Alex Noren on the sixth playoff hole – the first one on Monday morning – to win the Farmers Insurance Open.
The playoff victory highlighted a remarkable comeback effort from Day, who shot an opening-round 73 and found himself ten strokes out of the lead after 18 holes. A Friday 64, the low round of the tournament, vaulted him back into contention, and going into Sunday, he was just three shots behind Noren.
By the Sunday turn, Day, Noren, Palmer, and Holmes had separated themselves from the pack, but one by one, they failed to convert their back-nine chances (Day played the back nine 2-over), and the playoff was needed to determine the winner.
FINAL TOP 5
1 Jason Day -10
2 Alex Noren -10
2 Ryan Palmer -10
4 J.B. Holmes -9
5 Keegan Bradley -8
The field this week at Torrey Pines is headlined by top-25 superstars such as the aforementioned Rose (No. 1), Day (No. 12), Woods (No. 13), Fowler (No. 11), and Spieth (No. 20), alongside Rory McIlroy (No. 8), Patrick Reed (No. 15), Xander Schauffele (No. 6), Tony Finau (No. 10), and 2017 champion Jon Rahm (No. 7).
In total, there are 14 players ranked inside the world top 25.
Other top-25 ranked players include Marc Leishman (No. 16), Patrick Cantlay (No. 17), Alex Noren (No. 21), and Gary Woodland (No. 24).
In addition to Day (2018, 2015) and Rahm (2017), the field at Torrey Pines also includes former winners in Brandt Snedeker (2016) and Scott Stallings (2014), among others.
Major winners Keegan Bradley, Jimmy Walker, and Stewart Cink are some of the other familiar names.
Farmers Insurance Open | Torrey Pines GC | La Jolla, CA | Jan. 24-27, 2019
Joel Cook contributed to this report.
Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images